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Toro 1800 Power Curve 38381 Review

By: Carl Laron on December 09, 2016

Bottom Line [object Object]

Pros

  • Lightweight; easy handling
  • Powerful; quiet; maintenance-free
  • Clears up to 8 inches of light snow

Cons

  • Slow
  • Requires a heavy weight extension cord
  • Not good at clearing deep snow or snow piles
Our Analysis
Specs

Ease of use

As easy as pushing a lawn mower. The Toro 38381's light weight, excellent handling and simple controls make it a breeze to use, according to reviews. The 38381 is also quieter than most gas snow blowers, according to a professional comparison. Users can change chute direction while in motion, though height adjustments are made on the chute itself. With only minimal help from the paddles to propel it forward, the 38381 works best on level surfaces. Some say working with the required heavy-duty extension cord is a nuisance, but one that most learn to live with after a while.

Performance

Small but effective. The Toro 38381 "is small in scale, but mighty in removing snow from driveways and walkways," says Robert Valenzano, product expert at SnowBlowersDirect.com. According to independent testing, the 38381 does a very good job of removing snow right down to the ground. Its 30-foot throwing distance isn't particularly impressive, though it almost matches single-stage gas snow blowers in that regard. As a light-duty snow thrower, the 38381 is best for clearing up to 8 inches of powder or about 4 inches of wet snow. A few owners say it can clear larger amounts without clogging by taking slow passes, but take care not to overheat the engine. The 15-amp electric motor starts quickly with the push of a button.

Durability

Long life span. The Toro 38381 has been on the market for many years, building a long, reliable reputation. In fact, some owners report their 38381 lasting 10 years or longer. Some users note that it is important to use a sufficiently rated power cord to avoid burning out the engine. The 38381 is covered by a two-year warranty, and comments indicate that Toro does a good job standing behind its snow blowers.

Our Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

The Toro Power Curve 1800 38381 is included as part of a comprehensive report on snow blowers by ConsumerReports.org. Editors rate it on power, speed, handling, controls and more. Testers use the same analysis on all snow blowers, so gas and electric models are compared side by side.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2016

More than 700 owners review the Toro 38381 here, giving it a score of 4.0 (out of 5) stars. The majority of owners say the snow blower powers through moderate snowfall with ease and can manage heavier loads if you slow down or take extra passes.

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of December 2016

The Toro Power Curve 38381 gets good feedback at HomeDepot.com. Roughly 525 owners rate this machine, saying it's small but powerful, capable of cutting through high snow if you go slowly. Reviews from Toro's website are also included here.

Editors of and contributors to SnowBlowersDirect.com, As of December 2016

The Toro 38381 has an A-minus rating and is recommended by the site's product expert, Robert Valenzano, though there's no mention of any direct product testing. There are also more than 190 user reviews posted, and most appear to be pleased. These owners rate the Toro highly, with 91 percent saying that they would recommend it to a friend.

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